Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Verges' stand: No French, no hearing

Verges' stand: No French, no hearing

For those of you who missed initial reports, Jacques Verges is still insisting that the court translate his client's entire case file into French.

"We hereby reiterate our firm position: we demand translation of the Khieu Samphan criminal file. As long as the translation is not done, the Co-Lawyers for the Defence are unable to cooperate with the court," Khieu's lawyers wrote in a recent memo to the tribunal.

The declaration came in response to a request for guidance from the pre-trial chamber. Khieu's April hearing was adjourned after Verges said he could not properly defend his client until thousands of pages of documents had been translated into French. In June, judges issued an order claiming that fully translating case files into the tribunal's three official lanuages would be an unnecessary burden on the court.

Nearly four months later, Khieu's appeal has yet to be heard.

So the court put Khieu's lawyers on notice this month, asking the defense to disclose "their readiness to proceed or preference for the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide without further hearing, or any other advice being given related to their appeal."

The response was penned Aug. 21. Defense lawyers have not changed their position.

"To the extent that no file is available in French, one of the official working languages, Khieu Samphan is deprived of his foreign lawyer for his defence," they wrote. "This is clearly a breach of Khieu Samphan's right to be defended."

 

However, a legal opinion from DC-Cam maintains that the court's decisions regarding translation have been in keeping with international standards.

"This issue should be thought of primarily in terms of the right of the defendant to have adequate facilities to prepare his defense rather than as a right of the attorney," writes Sadie Blanchard, a DC-Cam legal associate.

While other courts have agreed to translate important court documents into an attorney's preferred language, such decisions have not extended to every single page of a case file, Blanchard writes. And at the ECCC, where each defendant has access to both a national and foreign lawyer, a degree of linguistic cooperation is expected.

Legal principles support the court's suggestion that "if Jacques Verges was unable to work with his Cambodian co-counsel to address translation issues, Khieu's recourse is his ability to choose a different foreign attorney," according to Blanchard.

*Pictured: Jacques Verges.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Bodies of Cambodian peacekeepers returned to Kingdom

The bodies of four Cambodian peacekeepers killed by a Christian militia in Central African Republic were repatriated to the Kingdom and honoured in an airport ceremony on May 21.

Phnom Penh eats: Ptas Nak Battambang

As the name suggests, Ptsa Nak Battambang – which in English means Battambang's house – is the right place for those who want to try some of the province's typical dishes in Phnom Penh.

Military police stand guard outside a polling station that was allegedly prematurely closed to eligible voters during the 2013 general election in Kandal province. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Defence on Friday lashed out at civil society and election monitoring groups, claiming a

Opposition leader Kem Sokha uses his hat to gesture to supporters during a campaign rally yesterday in Siem Reap province. Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday threatened to unleash war on the opposition party if he loses patience with their campaign for the June 4 commune